As Ex-Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Gets IMF Top Job, Liberia’s Financial Pundits See Bleakly Economic Recovering

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, greeted Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, right, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia on Sept. 10, 2015. Photo: IMF/Reuters

The former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been by the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, to one of its two external advisory groups consisting of economic, financial, and public policy experts to inform the IMF’s 2020 Comprehensive Surveillance Review (CSR).

The periodic review seeks to explore the IMF’s effectiveness in monitoring global economic developments and delivering policy advice to its 189 member countries. It will be forward-looking in nature and framed by the global macro-financial environment and other secular trends, including digital technology. The review will guide the IMF’s operational priorities through 2025.

“To accomplish this task, the CSR will take account of the strategic challenges and opportunities facing the IMF and its membership in ensuring sustained, balanced, and inclusive global growth,” Managing Director Lagarde stated. “The review will also assess the Fund’s capabilities and how it can innovate and adapt to continue to provide value to our members.

“As we embark on the CSR, we are proud to have access to the expertise of two groups of eminent people. The first such group consists of thought leaders who will provide overall guidance on surveillance challenges facing the Fund and help us chart the course for new policy approaches to enhance economic prosperity and maintain global economic stability. And because the CSR will position the Fund’s surveillance function against the backdrop of the ongoing global technological transformation, we hope to richly benefit from leading thinkers and practitioners with experience in revolutionary industries in our second advisory group,” she added.

The External Advisory Group on Surveillance will serve as an independent check on staff analysis and will make recommendations that will be set out in the CSR. The Group will engage with Fund staff on the priorities and strategic direction of the review, and subsequently inform the emerging findings and staff’s preliminary recommendations. The Group’s independent views will be communicated to the IMF Executive Board, which will ultimately establish the Fund’s surveillance priorities.

With the ascendancy of the former Liberian leader to such high profile position in the world, especially at the IMF, Liberians who spoke to the GNN expressed gratitude for her new assignment and further asked her to use this position at the IMF to pressurize the CDC-led Government in the recovering of the alleged missing sixteen billion dollars.

Following her appointment to the IMF, there has been trading of accusations and counter accusations between the former Government of ex-president Sireaf and the current CDC led government of President George Weah about the alleged printing of the missing money with officials of this current government accusing the outgoing Unity Party Government of being behind this saga.

Earlier when the CDC-led Government came to power it was reported that they met what it called ‘Broken economy’, meaning that the coffer of the country was totally emptied, but this insinuation by the George Weah led Government was debunked by the former President saying the George Weah government did not meet any broken economy, and that money was left in the coffer of the Liberian government to be used by the incoming government.

With her placement strategically at the IMF, supporters of this government (CDC-led), are said to be in worry taken into consideration how carelessly the economy is currently being managed, and thinking the other way around that Mrs. Johnson Sirleaf will use her influence to stall some of the assistance from the IMF to this government due to its financial inability.

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About Cholo Brooks 7567 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.